Tag Archives: lexicon

Prosodic Moments in Poeisis

In English, the difficulty of perceiving even brief isosyllabic lines as rhythmically equivalent is aggravated by the inordinate power of stressed syllables… The mashup of mystification about versifying that’s available online furnishes what I call Prosodic Moments — when phraseology … Continue reading

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What Makes a Poem ‘Hard’?

“Syntax” is the answer to the fudgy question. It’s hard to reach image and reference through muddy syntax. In narrative and exposition, context comes to the rescue; in poetry often not, because a poet revels in flare-gunning lap dance moon … Continue reading

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What Does a Poem Teach? Fluidity

Excerpts are from the poem “A Future History” by Suzi L. Garcia (Poetry, March 2020). A muster of peacocks show off their tails, but instead of feathers, knives. This line introduces me to “muster,” a collective noun applied to peacocks. … Continue reading

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Nigerian English

Lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary have updated the dictionary with 29 Nigerian words, recognizing Nigeria’s “unique and distinctive contribution to English as a global language.” The former British colony’s 200 million people speak more than 250 languages, according to … Continue reading

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Poetry Barasingha

My dog with the candy name goes off at the drop of a hat. When the washing machine rumbles a cycle-change from the tenebrosity of its cave, I wish I could say Taffy ululates, but it would overdress the event. … Continue reading

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Cutting Slack

Rather than fostering some new sense of civic unity, the virus is just as likely to worsen inequality further [my bolding]. (Farhad Manjoo, “San Francisco Beat the Virus. But It’s Still Breaking My Heart,” NYTimes, 5-13-20) Calling out infelicities of … Continue reading

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“Forebode”? Verboten!

But some religious authorities, too, have acted with anti-adaptive zeal. In my own Catholicism, the diocese of Raleigh, N.C., didn’t just cancel Masses and close churches; it forebode [my bolding] its priests to attempt experiments like drive-through confessions that might … Continue reading

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Tummlers

Yes, it saw the invention of cars, airplanes, and computers, but the 20th century will be remembered most for its chronic wars. However, a sweet vestige to preserve from then is what’s known as the “tummler,” a term introduced to … Continue reading

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Pouncing on “Pounded”

Many conservatives have gleefully pounded on Project Veritas’s disclosures, including one particularly influential voice: Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. The gist of this article is that Project Veritas works for conservatives against liberals. I surmise that the writers … Continue reading

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